Why Am I So Tired? Fatigue During Early Pregnancy: First Trimester Symptom of Being Pregnant
Pregnancy symptoms vary from woman to woman, but there are many common symptoms of pregnancy. These can include morning sickness, missed period, breast tenderness, bloating, headache, and much more. To learn more about the common early signs of pregnancy read Am I Pregnant? Early Signs of Pregnancy. There are also more unusual pregnancy symptoms you might want to become familiar with. This article deals with fatigue, a common problem for many pregnant women.
Why Am I So Tired?
During the first trimester of pregnancy, many women feel exhausted. Whether they are at home with younger children or working outside the home, pregnant women everywhere have expressed the feeling of torture at having to get out of bed in the morning and then dragging all day long. At the end of a long day, rest never felt so good.
The bad news is this is normal at the beginning of pregnancy and there's not a whole lot you can do about it. Think of all your body is accomplishing right now. You're making another person! This is the biggest job your body will ever carry out. Although it is designed for this purpose, and it knows exactly what to do, it still takes a lot of energy. Here you've been going through your life using all your energy on other things and suddenly all your body's systems are taxed in a new way. No wonder you're sleepy.
If you've sworn off coffee for the duration of gestation, you're going to feel an initial effect from this. Make sure to get enough water consistently throughout the day.
Yes, It Will End
By the end of the first trimester, most women experience an increase in energy. (Enjoy this brief respite, because the joyous days of the third trimester are up ahead!) You should start to feel a little like yourself again sometime around the 12th week of pregnancy. But you'll still need more sleep for the entire term, think in terms of getting as much sleep every night as you can. Additionally, during the day you need rest. Try to fit in 5 or 10 minute ‘power naps' throughout the day. You can do this in the bathroom if you have to.
Another way to keep your energy level up is to eat small meals frequently. It may seem counterintuitive, but exercise will actually help you feel more energetic. Although it uses energy, exercise also decreases stress and helps you sleep better at night, both of which will reduce fatigue.
When Fatigue Indicates Something Serious
In most cases, mild to moderate fatigue is perfectly normal and will dissipate by the end of the first trimester. However, in some cases that tired feeling can signal something more. Talk to your healthcare provider immediately if you feel sudden fatigue, or a weakness severe enough that you don't feel refreshed even after adequate rest. Depression and excessive worry is another reason to visit the doctor.
Fatigue may indicate anemia, especially if you are also experiencing one or more of the following:
- Shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations
- Pale skin
Disclaimer: I'm no doctor, just a mom who has been there and done that. This article cannot substitute professional advice from your physician. Please consult your doctor before using any advice listed in this article.
Want online resources? Check out Notes for Your Underbelly, a roundup of online tools to help manage pregnancy.